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Hawaiian Palm

Discussion in 'Tropical Gardening' started by Greybelle, Aug 3, 2018.

  1. Greybelle

    Greybelle Gardener

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    Has anyone had any luck growing the Hawaiian palm Brighamia Insignis? For an endangered species there seems to be a lot of them around and an equal amount that don't survive.
     
  2. pete

    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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    Never tried it, but if it is a winter grower it could be difficult if it likes high light levels.
     
  3. longk

    longk Total Gardener

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    Info on it's status can be found here..............

    Brighamia insignis

    I've never grown it but I grow some winter blooming plants from different parts of the world (South America, South Africa etc.) which in reality here in the UK become spring bloomers and this is how I go about it;
    Aim to bloom when daylight hours match those of its natural habitat (Honolulu daylight hours here). You'll need to be as close to the correct temps at this time to have the best chance (here).
    Summer conditions are important to providing the trigger too. So being from Hawaii I would expect heat and humidity.
    The tricky bit is how to care for it over the darkest winter months. Most (but not all) of my "winter bloomers" are happy to be kept just frost free, at which point they will stop growing without dying back. Mackaya bella is not and it clearly doesn't agree with some of my S.African bulbs as they fail to bloom. I suspect that yours will need a bit more heat but not so much that it continues to grow.

    Hope that is of some use to you.
     
  4. Greybelle

    Greybelle Gardener

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    Thanks Pete and Longk. I have 2, one of which has just died - a heart-rending occurrence. The other is still hanging on. I do like them but not likely to try again. If this is supposed to be a conservation effort, I'm not sure how well its going.
     
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    • NigelJ

      NigelJ Total Gardener

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    • Greybelle

      Greybelle Gardener

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      Your correct Nigel, its pollinator was a particular species of moth that's now extinct and there are only about 5 palms left alive in the wild. I got 2 palms in the hope of being able to do a bit of hand pollinating and getting some seed,
       

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      • Greybelle

        Greybelle Gardener

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        Thank you for all the support. Its devastating when plants die, especially endangered species but getting advice and information from people with experience, in the hope of doing better next time, always seems to ease the situation. Thanks again for your time.
         
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        • pete

          pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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          I'm pretty sure that they are hand pollinating plants in it's homeland and in other tropical parts, who knows, they tend to do a lot of this kind of stuff at Kew?
           
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          • Greybelle

            Greybelle Gardener

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            This was the original text Pete:

            "Brighamia Insignis, the Hawaiian Palm, is a critically endangered species of plant, and with just seven plants left in the wild, we’ve managed to get a limited stock of specially cultivated examples of this exotic specimen.
            Also known as Olulu in Hawaiian, or the vulcan palm, the uniquely beautiful ‘Hawaiian Palm’ (Brighamia Insignis) was once very common on the islands of Hawaii – but sadly no more because the specific hawk moth responsible for its pollination has all but died out due to environmental pressure.
            Luckily, the few remaining plants that were found clinging to a vertical volcanic rock face were successfully hand pollinated and their seed collected by plucky rock climbers to ensure its continued existence.
            Having nurtured the seeds over the last few seasons, we are delighted to be able to offer the Hawaiian Palm for sale in the UK - and you’ll find it’s perfectly happy being the centre of attention in your living room or conservatory.
            An outstanding and easy-to-grow succulent plant with a sweet fragrance when it flowers, The Hawaiian Palm has a thick trunk topped with a rosette of shiny leaves and makes a very unusual and decorative houseplant - something that not many people will actually have. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to grow one of the rarest house-plants on earth and actively participate in its conservation.
            Give the plant a sheltered position in the house or garden in summer to prevent excessive leaf drop, and place in a light position indoors in winter for the best results, keeping it frost free.
            The Hawaiian Palm enters dormancy during the summer returning to growth again from August, when new leaves will develop in the crown. Older leaves at the bottom of the plant yellow and fall off naturally during the growth cycle forming the characteristic succulent trunk - remove fallen leaves regularly."

            I'm wondering if its in the wrong position. Its indoors but gets full sun for a lot of the day. Perhaps its not "sheltered" enough.
             
          • pete

            pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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            If I come across one I might buy it, just to see how it goes, thinking a warm conservatory might be much better for it in winter than the house.
            Thanks for bringing the plant to my attention:blue thumb:
            Dont think I'd consider myself doing much for its conservation though, its pretty much a lost cause in the wild as far as I can make out.
            Just wondering if it roots from cuttings.:scratch:
             
            Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
          • Greybelle

            Greybelle Gardener

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            Curious to know what sort of cutting you would take, Pete. Don't think the leaves would work as they are very fine and I don't see how you could chop off a bit of trunk. Would love to know how you get on though. You can also buy them on Amazon as well as a few other places. They're not that difficult to find for an endangered species.
             
          • pete

            pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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            Cuttings were just a thought, it has a very similar appearance to Plumeria, although I dont think it is related.
            The stem looks succulent so might grow from a decapitated plant, just guessing,:scratch:, the main plant then reshooting.
             
          • Greybelle

            Greybelle Gardener

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            My second palm, which is dead, lost all of its leaves in a week and looked like the stump in the picture. However it still had a growing part and grew a lot of leaves which lasted for a few weeks and then dropped off to leave a nothing stump which just crumpled. My second one is still alive. Hope you have better luck
             

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          • pete

            pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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            I'm thinking very prone to rot, it just look succulent to me.
             
          • Greybelle

            Greybelle Gardener

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            I think you're right, Pete. I've read articles that say to treat it like a succulent and repot it into succulent compost. I don't think the growers have fully thought this one through. On the other hand, I didn't think through my 3 foot high little gem lettuces. I suppose you can't think of everything.

            On another note, I'm sorry to hear that you're living in the remnants of the Garden of England because I was born and grew up there as a Maid of Kent and it was amazing.
             

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